The morning of 23 March saw 66 people plus instructors, trappers and kitchen staff make for a very well attended NBPA Clay Pigeon Shooting day held a Gabriel’s Farm south of Edenbridge. We had 28 New Beacon School parent and boy teams (out of 30 who signed up) plus 10 supporters.

The day kicked off at 10:30am with a safety briefing. Six qualified instructors were on hand for the entire event and each instructor was charged with 5 teams (5 boys & their parent) throughout the day ensuring continuity of coaching.

A further split was made, half of the boys teams were allocated lighter but equally potent 0.410 shotguns based on their physique so that they would be able to control the gun with greater ease and less likely to tire through the day. The other half used 20 bore shot guns again a lighter and equally potent gun to the 12 bore guns that were offered to the adults.

The layout for the day included 6 stands, 3 stands for the 0.410 shotguns and another 3 stands to be used by the 20 bore guns. Each of the 3 stands produced different clay target combinations which each parent and gun team shot with 8 clays shown per stand.

The day was run as a novice day for both boys and adults with instructors coaching boys and parents alike in order to help them safely hit the targets.

Whilst scores were being kept in order to award a best gun prize for both the boys & the adults it was a fun day for everybody and also a good introduction into Clay Pigeon shooting for many.

Having reviewed the score sheets after the event it was rewarding to see that there was a definite trend showing more clays being broken towards the end of the day! More importantly everybody on the day broke some clays so nobody went away having drawn a blank!

Due to the superb support for this event we had to stop taking entries at 30 teams; the numbers did allow the organisers to add a small bit of fun at the end of the day. The plan was for the instructors to pick the best boy and best adult in their group to be put through to a final boys vs parents contest shooting at a remote controlled ‘Knatt’ aeroplane. Unfortunately, whilst these planes can usually withstand being shot at the plane was unusable after a technical difficulty encountered shortly after take-off resulting in a collision with a tree. This slight setback aside I am assured everyone had a good time.

My thanks go to everyone involved with the day including the caterer, the instructors, those who helped set up the marquee and clear up, the parents who loaned their guns for the event, the NBPA who organised publicising the event, taking payment and of course the kind New Beacon parents who financially supported the NBPA.

I understand that that the day raised £730 for the NBPA which was largely possible thanks to our two sponsors for the day who gave / loaned us equipment and provided consumables at discounted rates. They are Edgar Brothers (Ammunition and Firearms wholesalers) and also Noble Field Sports (Simulated Game Shooting ground based in Westerham) .

Finally, I and all the boys who are members of the New Beacon School Rifle Club are very grateful to the NBPA for their support in December 2017 when they funded buying 2 new competition 0.22 LR Rifles for the club along with the necessary accessories such as sights and slings to replace the existing rifles which had been in use for 30+ years. Following this investment in the club the boys have been able to shoot to their ability as our results have shown; most recently winning the Prep Schools Rifle Association Hammond Cup (a National 4 person  team Competition for Prep Schools) last term coming 1st & 2nd and doing better still this term; retaining the cup coming 1st & 2nd outright!